Increases in Landfill Tax Rates (England, Northern Ireland)

Both the standard and lower rates of Landfill Tax will increase in 2019 in line with the Retail Prices Index (RPI), rounded to the nearest 5 pence. This measure was announced in the Autumn Budget 2017.

Previously, the tax applied across the UK but from 1 April 2015 it was devolved in Scotland and from 1 April 2018 in Wales.

The increases in the standard and lower rates of Landfill Tax in line with RPI will apply to taxable disposals made, or treated as made, at relevant landfill sites and unauthorised waste sites, on or after 1 April 2019.

The rate changes will apply in England and Northern Ireland only. Sites operating without the necessary environmental disposal permit or licence will be liable for Landfill Tax at the standard rate on all material.

Legislation will be introduced in Finance Bill 2018-19 to amend section 42(1)(a) and 42(2) of the Finance Act 1996 to provide for the new rates of Landfill Tax. These changes will be consolidated into the law supplied in Cardinal Environment EHS Legislation Registers and Law Checklists.

New Measures for Single-Use Plastics (UK)

The Budget 2018 announced a new tax on produced or imported plastic packaging from 1 April 2022. Subject to consultation, this will apply to all plastic packaging that doesn’t include at least 30% recycled content.

In addition, there are planned reforms to the Packaging Producer Responsibility System, that will also be consulted on shortly.

THIS POST WILL BE UPDATED WITH THE CONSULTATION LINKS, please book mark the post to return to it online, as a new email will not be sent out.

Standard Rules Environmental Permitting (England)

The Environment Agency offers standard rules environmental permits in England for listed activities.

Further permits are now available (waste).

The full list is here.

Note : standard rules permits are cheaper, but

• the rules cannot be varied and there is no right of appeal against them

• any change in operations so a standard permit no longer works for the operation results in a requirement to make it a bespoke permit instead

• if there is a change in the local environment after the permit has been issued (for example due to a change in the definition of a groundwater source protection zone), the operation may need to be upgraded to a standard sufficient for the changed environment, or the permit changed to a bespoke permit

Plastics Update (UK)

The UK Government has been consulting on “the plastics problem”. This consultation has just concluded. The document is here (it is mostly the consultation responses) :

The government response is (stated in the document) :

(1) The government is developing a new strategy on resources and waste that looks ahead at opportunities outside the EU. This will set out the detail of how the government will meet the ambitions for resources and waste that are set out in the Clean Growth Strategy, the Industrial Strategy and the 25 Year Environment Plan.

(2) The aim of the strategy will be to make the UK “a world leader in resource efficiency and resource productivity”, and “increase competitiveness”. It will set out how the government will work towards ambitions of doubling resource productivity and zero avoidable waste by 2050, maximising the value extracted from resources and minimising waste and the associated negative environmental impacts.

(3) The strategy will be published this year, as will a consultation on the reform of the packaging waste regulations and a deposit return scheme for beverage containers.

Please note : household waste recycling is already adrift of the 2020 recycling targets, and I posted earlier about the EU waste law changes (enacted, changing existing EU waste directives, including the packaging and packaging waste directive, with forward dates – the EU Combined Cycle law) that increase recycling targets further.

Single-use Plastics (Global)

Various initiatives and legal instruments are already in place or announced :

NOTE : I will update this post online (please keep a note, to check online, as you will not receive an email)

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Ireland, UK, France, Canadian cities, US cities, Mexico local bans, Brazil local bans, etc – plastic bags – see August 2017 roundup (Reuters) – here

Kenya plastic bag ban – here

France ban, Scotland (proposal), UK (consultation later in 2018), Costa Rica (proposal) – cotton buds, cutlery, other plastic products

England, Scotland, Wales – microbeads ban (certain products)

EU Strategy on Plastics (separate post) – includes a new proposed Directive on Port Reception Facilities

EU proposals on 10 single-use plastics bans (separate post)

UK consultation (concluded) on tax measures

UNEP (at UNEA-3) non-binding Resolution Marine Litter and Microplastics

China ban on imports of plastic waste for recycling from developed countries (I posted about this)

Extensions to Packaging Producer Responsibility (UK)

Anna McMorrin has today (13th June) introduced a Ten Minute Rule Bill to extend the existing Packaging Producer Responsibility arrangements.

Information is set out here – LabourList.

I will update this post, as further information is forthcoming (including the Bill wording). So please make a note to return to this post online, as an email will not be sent out.

NB: Ten Minute Rule Bills are a type of Private Members’ Bills. To become law, a Private Members’ Bill must be taken up by the Government.

Waste Classification (EU)

The European Commission has issued new technical guidance on the classification of waste. This guidance is here.

Subscribers to Cardinal Environment EHS Legislation Registers & Checklists will have this guidance added (ENV Waste). Some will already have requested it, and had it inserted.

Individual Member States may also issue local guidance from time to time.

Note : this guidance is without prejudice to the interpretation which may be given by the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU), and the views expressed cannot prejudge the position that the Commission might take before the CJEU.